Tag Archives: Diane Burton

Character Interview of Alex O’Hara from Diane Burton’s mystery series

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

I’m Alex (Alexandra) O’Hara from Diane Burton’s mystery series. An only child (but never spoiled), I grew up in Far Haven, Michigan, a small resort town on Lake Michigan. I love it here and don’t ever want to leave.

What’s your favorite participation sport?

Swimming. Growing up on the lake meant a lot of beach time. I used to sail, but now I have no time.

Did you always want to be a private investigator?

Absolutely. My father and Nick Palzetti’s father owned an investigation agency. I started working there in high school. I loved it when they’d let me tag along on a case. Of course, my mom had a fit the first time. Too dangerous. Hah. That was the exciting part.

What do you like most about being a PI?

Helping people get answers. Sometimes, like with a philandering spouse, they don’t want to know something they already sense. Finding a lost sibling or confirming the history of a potential spouse makes me feel good.

Talk about your favorite setting for a date.

The beach. Maybe a picnic, if it’s warm enough. Or just a long walk. I’m not crazy about going to fancy restaurants, although I clean up good. 😊 Or so I’m told. I’m just a small-town girl with small-town tastes.

What attracts you first to a man?

His attitude. Forget guys who think they’re God’s gift to women. I want to see confidence and intelligence. His body comes next. Since I’m 5’ 10”, he has to be tall, with long legs, and a great butt. Shallow, I know.

Are you talking about a particular man?

Oh, yeah. Nick Palzetti. We grew up together then he broke my heart in high school. We were reunited in The Case of the Bygone Brother when he returned to town. He comes and goes through the next two books in the series, The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé, and The Case of the Meddling Mama. I’m not real happy about his absences. He thinks I get into too many dangerous situations. Our jobs are a constant source of frustration and arguments between us.

Alex O’Hara - Bygone Brother Cover - 1025

BLURB

Small Town . . . Big Case.

Alex O’Hara finally gets a case that will give her bottom line a much-needed boost. She might even be able to change her diet from ramen noodles to prime rib. All she has to do is track down a man who’s been missing for over ten years. Piece of cake . . . until an old flame arrives and a mugger roughs her up with orders to back off.

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EXCERPT

“Hello, gorgeous.”

I whacked my head on the display shelf.

Well, what would you do if you were lying across the top of a four-drawer lateral file cabinet, and your arm—yardstick attached—was wedged between the wall and the cabinet, trying to retrieve the license renewal application that if you mangled, crushed or couldn’t get would mean the end of your business, and the ex-love-of-your-life stood in the doorway looking at your butt?

The shelf shook on its braces from contact with my head. Never mind that the encounter didn’t do much for the aforementioned body part. The Far Haven Chamber of Commerce awards rattled, and signed Detroit Tigers baseballs pelted my head, shoulders, and the back of my thigh. I dropped the yardstick and swore.

“I thought you promised your mother you wouldn’t swear anymore.” He would remind me of that vow.

“Relapse,” I muttered as I looked over my shoulder.

In that loose-limbed, cocky manner I once thought scary, sexy, and so cool, Nick Palzetti stood in the doorway to the spare office. He even dressed the same in a black leather jacket, black knit shirt, and jeans that molded his hips. Lordy, he could still make my mouth go dry.

As I wiggled back and sideways across the long cabinet, I felt my skirt ride up. Of all days to wear a skirt. With my foot, I searched for the desk chair I’d climbed to get on top of the cabinet. I’d kicked off my high heels before standing on the chair, probably the only smart thing I’d done so far.

“Red panties, you naughty girl.”

Diane Burton

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and The Case of the Bygone Brother, a PI mystery. She is regular contributor to The Roses of Prose and Paranormal Romantics blogsites. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and three (soon to be five) grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

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Character Interview—Mission to New Earth by Diane Burton

Meet Sara Grenard, the main character and narrator of Diane Burton’s Mission to New Earth.

How about you introduce yourself by providing the basics?

My name is Sara Grenard. I’m commander of the mission to Serenity. That’s the name my team gave to the Goldilocks planet that might be just right for humans. We’ll explore, build a settlement, and start families.

Family members?

None. A few distant cousins, I guess. I have no sibs, and my parents were killed in an auto accident 10 years ago. That made it easier to leave everything behind to go on a one-way trip to a new planet. Although I have no blood family, my team is my family. The six of us have bonded better than relatives.

Are you athletic?

You bet. I can’t sit still. That’s why teaching wasn’t my best choice of occupations.

Why didn’t you continue teaching?

A student who was much bigger attacked me. My principal didn’t support me, so I filed a police report. That didn’t go over well. I figured it was a losing battle. When I saw that the United Earth Space Agency was looking for volunteers to go on a one-way trip to new planets, I knew that’s what I wanted to do. To be a pioneer.

What’s your favorite participation sport?

Surfing and swimming. Running and taekwondo. The latter I learned so I could defend myself. No one will ever attack me again and get away with it.

What do you like most about being an astronaut?

The challenge. Our training has been demanding. Mentally, physically, emotionally. We’re going to make sure humankind has a safe place if an evacuation is necessary. From all the crises on Earth, that may be necessary sooner than we think.

Mission to New Earth -sept 14

BLURB

Would you go on a one-way trip to explore a new planet? Would you do it to save humankind?

Earth’s overpopulation and dwindling resources force the United Earth Space Agency to expedite exploration of new planets for a possible new home. When new crises ensue—a giant tsunami and the threat of nuclear winter—the timeline changes. Eight years of training crammed into four. Sara Grenard and her team prepare for launch, but are they ready for the one-way trip? Will the Goldilocks planet prove just right for Earth’s inhabitants? Before time runs out.

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EXCERPT

From the pictures sent back by the probe of the Earth-like planet we named Serenity, our new home would look as natural as Earth itself. I wanted so badly to believe the reports that the surface would have breathable air, that we would be able to walk outside without our enviro suits, that we could live there as we lived on Earth. After two years in an enclosed environment, I was going a little stir-crazy. More than a little. Being an outdoor girl, cabin fever had hit me a lot sooner than the others. Rather, I used to be an outdoor girl.

So how did a California beach girl like me end up on Saturn’s moon, preparing to make history? It was a long story, best reserved for a starlit night in front of a campfire overlooking the dark waters of the sea, and accompanied by a cool glass of wine. With Marsh, of course. Even he didn’t know my whole story. Just like I didn’t know his.

The short version: I volunteered. Slightly longer version: my parents died in a car accident; teaching bratty kids sucked, especially when a kid eight inches taller and a hundred pounds heavier attacked me, and the principal didn’t support me. Believe me, I was ready for a change.

And what a change.

I never imagined I’d be selected. Not when over fifty thousand applied within ten hours. Or so I heard. Out of five hundred thousand applicants, the eighteen of us became the chosen teams. Oh, not as easy as that. The tests they put us through—physical, psychological, intellectual—still boggled my mind.

And I used to think teaching high school kids with more money than smarts was a challenge. Nothing prepared me for the adventure of a lifetime.

Being a pioneer.

Diane Burton

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mystery series. She is also a contributor to two anthologies: Portals, Volume 2 and How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in West Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Blog: http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

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Guest Promotion–The Case of the Fabulous Fiancé by Diane Burton

Alex O’Hara - The Case of the Fabulous Finance - 750 Cover

BLURB

Alex O’Hara wants to take her investigation agency in a new direction—background checks for potential spouses. She hopes this new case will do the trick when a high-powered executive asks for info on her new boyfriend. Is the man she met on a cruise her Mr. Right or is he too good to be true? On the same day, Alex gets another case—finding a deadbeat dad. And both women want to double her rates so she’ll give them highest priority. She can’t believe her luck. Her finances are on the upswing. If only Nick Palzetti was around to share her good news. He disappeared on Christmas Eve, and she hasn’t heard from him in almost three months. But glitchy phones and no internet bring everything to a screeching halt.

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EXCERPT

“Dottie Matthews said you’re the best at finding people.” Perched on the visitor chair in my office, Stephanie Voorhees clutched her purse.

The old saying “When it rains, it pours” was true. I mean, when did I ever get two cases on the same day? Nora Finley in the morning, and Stephanie Voorhees late in the afternoon. I should have stopped the woman from pouring out her story, but she’d said the magic words. Dottie Matthews.

“You need to find that deadbeat who hasn’t paid child support in two years. My kids—his kids—need new shoes. Boots, too. And snowsuits don’t grow on trees. My God, you can’t believe how fast they outgrow their clothes.”

“Have you gone to the police? They are vigilant about making deadbeat dads pay what the court has mandated.”

If her kids needed new shoes and winter coats, she shouldn’t be shelling out money to hire an investigator.

“Mrs. Voorhees, Michigan—”

“It’s Ms. I’ve taken back my maiden name.”

“Ms. Voorhees, Michigan has zero tolerance for fathers who don’t pay child support. I can give you information on how to—”

“I’ve already done all that.” She cut me off again. “I want action, and I don’t see it from the Bloomfield Hills police. That’s where we lived when he left us. I want you to find that b*****d.”

“Right now, I can’t take on another case. I—”

Her eyes filled with tears. Were they real or a practiced reaction? “B-But, why . . .”

What did I do to deserve this? A windfall—two emotion-packed cases—when I didn’t have time to devote to either.

“Ms. Voorhees, Stephanie. I can’t devote the time necessary to do justice to your case. Perhaps next month—”

She tried to stifle a gasp. “A month?”

Oh, hell. She looked so crestfallen, I added, “Or three weeks.”

At that, she brightened. Tears miraculously gone. I’d been played. “Three weeks is fine. I mean, it’s not fine but acceptable. I’ve waited this long—nearly two years—what’s a few weeks?”

“Are you sure? I might not be able to—”

“I have faith in you. Dottie Matthews says you’re the best.”

Diane Burton

BIO

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and the Alex O’Hara PI mysteries. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

 

Connect with Diane Burton online

Blog:  http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/dmburton72

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/dianeburtonauthor

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Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dmburton72/

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Character Interview–The Protector by Diane Burton

 

Please introduce yourself for those who haven’t met you in your author’s other books.

I’m Rissa Dix (that’s pronounced Deece, as you know if you read the other Outer Rim books). I run a tavern in Astron Colony on Galeria 7. I mean Galeriana. The Powers That Be decided to give our planet an official name. I’m still not used to it. Anyway, my tavern caters to space crews and miners. Two companies mine the valuable minerals up in the nearby mountains. Thank the Matriarch they all don’t come at the same time.

Tell us about your family.

What family? My father is/was (I have no idea if he’s still alive) an itinerate preacher. He dragged my mother and me from colony to colony until she had enough and went back to our home planet. I was 12 and wanted to go with her. My father insisted I stay with him, until the day he abandoned me in the worst outpost on the hind end of the universe. How could he preach morality when accompanied by his unmarried pregnant daughter?

How did your upbringing influence who you are today?

I vowed nobody would make me leave my child behind. I’d protect her with all my might. Or so I thought until traffickers stole her <swallows hard> from the sitter while I was at work. I’ve been searching for her ever since.

What was your first thought when you met the hero?

He was a kid. Tall, gangly, bony shoulders that hinted at what he’d look like as an adult. He and his friends—rich kids from the Central Planets who had too many credits, no supervision, and fast starships—came to Astron to rock climb. They were reckless, thrill-seeking fools. To be honest, Dillan was different from the other boys. Instead of hitting the pleasure house across the street with his friends, he hung around my tavern. He helped me a lot, serving thirsty miners and even cleaning up the place after close. I tried shooing him away, but he always came back. I could see he was infatuated with me, the older fem. He was 16, I was 24. For 10 years, I tried to discourage him.

Why did you fall for him?

Who says I did? When he returned after a 6-year absence, I didn’t even recognize him as he helped my friends and I rescue a bunch of kids from a slave ship. Whoa, had he ever changed. He wasn’t a kid anymore. He was a 32-year-old man. I’m a big fem, tall and strong. I have to be to survive on the Frontier. But he’s taller with broad shoulders and a real presence. His sense of humor is irritating but makes me smile. A little. His dogged insistence that we belong together despite our 8-year age difference drives me crazy. I wasn’t going to succumb to his cute smile or the desire lurking in his eyes. Or his kisses. Well, you know what they say about the road to Lexol being paved with good intentions.

Why did you choose your occupation?

It sort of happened. What kind of a job is there for fems with little formal education on the Frontier? I sure wasn’t going to be a pleasure provider. Not that there’s anything wrong with that life if a fem chooses it. Owning a tavern isn’t for the weak. Morning to night, it’s work, work, work. But it’s worth it. I’m my own boss. I take care of what’s mine.

What is the biggest hurdle you had to overcome?

<swallows a sob> Losing my baby daughter to traffickers. I spent years searching for her, worrying about her, praying that she was safe. Did they sell her to a good family? Or was she raised to be a prosti? When worry made me so sick I almost died, I knew I had to close off that part of my life. I never stopped looking for her, but I can’t be around babies. Too much pain knowing I’ll never see my child again.

Do you have any hobbies?

Who has time for hobbies? I’m up at dawn to make bread and stew for the customers. Even though I close the tavern at Mid-Night, I still have work to do, tallying receipts, cleaning and preparing for the next day. I don’t even have time to read. That’s why I gave my reader to a girl I rescued. It’s uncanny how much she looks like me at 15. Now she imitates my walk, my mannerisms, even wears her dark hair in one long braid the way I do. I’ve grown quite attached to her. She’s the daughter of my heart.

How would you spend a free day?

Sleep. Actually, Dillan wouldn’t let me. He’d bully me into doing something fun with him, like the time he made me go on vacation with him to a rainforest. He took me up into the canopy. A fantastic sight! When I had to traverse the space between platforms, I was scared to death. He made me go anyway. What a thrill. But the best part was sliding down to the ground. I finally understood what Dillan felt all those years ago. Thrills and excitement like I’d never experienced. I wouldn’t have enjoyed it so much if I’d know what was to come.

The Protector - Cover 750

Blurb

After tavern owner Rissa Dix rescues two girls from a slave ship, she must rally the townsfolk to prevent traffickers from raiding the frontier colony. She’s met with apathy and disbelief. Because she lost her own baby to traffickers, she’s determined that no other mother will suffer the same heartache. Industrialist heir Dillan Rusteran aids her in rescuing more children. Little do they know they’re about to tangle with a trafficking ring that puts Rissa in danger. Dillan’s loved her for years despite her claim she’s too old for him. As they fight the traffickers, will she finally see him in a new light?

Excerpt

When she heard the rustle, Rissa stopped in the middle of the sanitary. “Whoever you are, come out. Right now.”

Another rustle then the sound of feet lightly hitting the floor. The lock slid open then slowly the door moved.

“Please,” a soft voice whispered. “Don’t hurt us.”

That sounded like a young girl.

“Come out where I can see you.” Rissa, too, whispered.

A tall, dark-haired teen stepped out, followed by a smaller girl with light brown hair. They both looked terrified. Their hair was matted and dirt smudged their faces. Their clothes were filthy. The smells emanating from them contributed to the general san-fac odors. Rissa did her best not to react.

Holding the other girl behind her, the tall one stepped forward, jutting out her chin. “We are not going back.”

“O-kay. Back where?”

“You can’t make us. We’ll escape again.”

Rissa had to admire her bravado. “You escaped? From where?”

“Did they send you in here to get us?”

Since the taller one seemed to be the spokesperson, Rissa kept her eyes on her. Something about her was compelling. Rissa could be looking at herself at the same age. Then it hit her hard, like a blow to the stomach. That was what Miri would have looked like at that age. Same strong Traishan features—olive skin, dark hair and eyes. Same strong will.

Rissa took a deep breath to steady herself before locking the outer door. “Nobody sent me. You asked for help. What can I do?”

“Get us out of here before they discover we’re gone.” Despite the strength in the tall girl’s voice, she worked hard to keep her chin from wobbling.

“Who?” Rissa was afraid she knew.

“Those men. The Chellians. We can’t go back. We won’t.”

By the Matriarch, traffickers.

Her lungs seized, her heart hurt so badly Rissa clutched her chest. Be strong, she told herself. Pull yourself together. No traffickers had ever come to Astron Colony before. Or even to Galeriana. She had to help the girls get away.

She glanced at the window on the far wall.

“We couldn’t open it,” the smaller girl sobbed. “We were trying when you came in. We thought you were them.”

Since Rissa was taller, she could easily reach the window. With a shove, she got it open. “Come.” She motioned to the tall girl. “You first. You can catch your friend. She’s too small to catch you.”

She cupped her hands for the girl’s foot. “Hide outside. I’ll come around and take you somewhere safe.” At the girls’ wary looks, she added, “I promise. Now go before someone comes looking for us.”

Rissa boosted her up to the open window. The tall girl hoisted herself through, disappeared for a moment then stuck her head inside.

“The ground is higher out here. Come, Anaris.” She held out her arms.

The small girl, Anaris, gave Rissa a panicked look. “You’ll come for us?”

The door rattled. “Hey,” a male yelled. “Open up.”

Anaris gave her a panicked look.

“Gimme a min,” Rissa yelled back.

“I promise to come for you,” Rissa whispered then gave her a boost. Like the tall girl, Anaris disappeared through the window.

As Rissa reached to close it, the tall girl was there about to do the same. “Thank you.” She shut the window and ducked out of sight.

Hoping they would wait for her, Rissa walked out of the san-fac. A mech glared at her. “Whadda mean by locking the door?”

“Didn’t want you walking in on me.” She glanced over at a commotion near the freighter where she’d just delivered supplies. “What’s going?”

The pilot was yelling and his two crewmen were darting between ships, searching.

“Damn offworlder.” The mech brushed past her into the san-fac.

When the pilot saw her, he yelled, “What did you do with them?”

Rissa looked around to see who he was shouting at.

“You there.” He stormed up to her. “Where are those two girls?”

She affected a confused expression. “What girls?”

“My cargo, I mean passengers. Damn you to Lexol’s Fire. How did you get them out?”

The pilot’s slip confirmed what Rissa feared. The girls she helped escape had been cargo. The pilot and crew were slavers, bastards who trafficked in children. A primal urge swept through her. Kill them. Kill them now.

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Diane Burton

Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction and romance into writing romantic fiction. Besides the science fiction romance Switched and Outer Rim series, she is the author of One Red Shoe, a romantic suspense, and The Case of the Bygone Brother, a PI mystery. She is also a contributor to the anthology How I Met My Husband. Diane and her husband live in Michigan. They have two children and three grandchildren.

For more info and excerpts from her books, visit Diane’s website: http://www.dianeburton.com

Connect with Diane Burton online

Blog:  http://dianeburton.blogspot.com/

Twitter:  http://twitter.com/dmburton72

Facebook:  http://facebook.com/dianeburtonauthor

Goodreads: Diane Burton Author

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/dmburton72/

Sign up for Diane’s new release alert: http://eepurl.com/bdHtYf

 

Books by Diane Burton:

Switched

Switched, Too

Switched Resolution

The Pilot: An Outer Rim Novel

The Chameleon: An Outer Rim Novel

The Protector: An Outer Rim Novel

One Red Shoe

The Case of the Bygone Brother: An Alex O’Hara Novel

How I Met My Husband (contributor)